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Fall is my favorite season because we are receiving the abundant foods from Mother Nature, especially fruits, such as apples, grapes, oranges…you name it. However, do you know that most of us are throwing the treasure away without awareness? The treasures come from the skins of foods. The skins of some fruits and vegetables have amazing health benefits that may blow you away, here are a few examples.

1. Corn Silk

corn-silkYou may wonder what corn silk is. It is on the top of the corn like hair. Because it looks and feels like silk, so it gets a fancy name as “corn silk”. Most people just discard both corn husk and corn silk when it comes to the corn season.

If you cook the corn with the husk on it, you will find that the corn is actually tastier. Want to make it even better? You can brush the salt water on the hot corn right after you cook it. It will be so delicious that makes you want more.

However, not many people know the magic healing power of corn silk. It is called the “Dragon bear” in Traditional Chinese Medicine due to its amazing health benefits. It is a popular ingredient to treat high blood pressure and other illnesses including the following.

  • Improves your blood cholesterol profile
  • Reduces water retention
  • Detoxes the liver
  • Treats cholecystitis
  • Reduces jaundice
  • Reduces polyuria from diabetes
  • Treats bladder infection
corn-silk-drinkThis small corn silk provides so many health benefits, unbelievable, isn’t it? Based on Traditional Chinese Medicine, the therapeutic benefits of corn silk enter the meridian channels of the liver, gall bladder, and kidneys. Therefore, it suppresses inflammation; reduces water retention, and acts as a natural diuretic. You can make a tea with it or add it to your soups to enjoy its amazing health benefits as much as you can. Tart cherry is another amazing food that has numerous health benefits.

2. Turnip Skins

turnipThe skin of the turnip is actually very nutritious. It has a much higher amount of vitamin C and calcium than that of the inside. It also has a high amount of vitamin A that can benefit your vision. In addition, it is rich in fiber that can prevent constipation and slim you down fast.

What makes the skin of turnip so appealing is that it contains a decent amount of sulforaphane, which is a potent antioxidant that inhibits inflammation and oxidative stress. Sulforaphane is known to be a DNA protector and prevents cancers by protecting cells from cellular damage that causes cancers. It can also improve your immune system and enhance the detoxification power of your liver.

Turnip skins also contain phenol compounds that can improve your blood cholesterol profile and benefit your heart function.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, fresh turnip juice with honey is an effective home remedy to treat a sore throat. Fresh turnip juice can also be used externally to reduce muscle injuries and pains. Here is a delicious turnip skin recipe that you can enjoy this magic healing food more often.


  • Fresh turnip skin (sliced): 2 cups
  • Peanuts (cooked, chopped): ¼ cup
  • Apple cider vinegar: 1/4 cup
  • Olive oil: 1 tbsp.


Put the sliced turnip skin in a bowl and pour the apple cider vinegar on top. Put aside for about 10 minutes, so the flavor of the vinegar can enter the turnip skin, then spread the peanuts and oil on top, and mix well. Add salt and pepper based on your taste. That is it. It is simple, nutritious, and delicious, don’t you think so?

3. Grapefruit Skins

Most of us throw the skin of grapefruits away. But believe it or not, it can bring you surprising health benefits. Here is a delicious recipe with grapefruit skins to treat a cough and sore throat. How to do it?

Step one: scrape the skin of the grapefruit with a scraper, only take the part of the thin yellow skin, not the white part.


Step two: soak the thin skin that you scrapped from the grapefruit in the salt water for about 15 minutes, this will remove the bitter taste of the skin. You can soak it overnight if you don’t like the bitter taste at all.


Step three: add ½ cup of water in a pot, then add ½ cup of coconut sugar in the water. The amount of sugar depends on your taste. Bring it to boil, then add the grapefruit skin in it. Cook it over low heat, when the skin becomes transparent, add the pulp of the grapefruit in the pot, stir frequently.

Step four: cook until the water is almost gone, put the pot aside to let it cool down. After it cools down, you can add some honey to it based on your personal preference and put it in a glass jar. You can store it in a fridge and enjoy a spoonful amount every day. It is an ideal home remedy to ease a cough and sore throat. It also prevents a sore throat if you drink it more often.

4. Orange Skins

orange-skinFall is the best season for oranges. Do you know that the skins of oranges are also a treasure? I often dry them under the sun and use them in my soups. It not only enhances the flavor of the soups but also aids digestion. Dried orange peel has been used as a popular herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat indigestion and cough for thousands of years.

Even the tangerine pith is also a treasure. It is used to treat chronic bronchitis according to Traditional Chinese Medicine. Therefore, you should not remove it when eating the fruit.

orangeYou can also boil the orange peels with water and make a drink out of it. This magical drink can help get rid of a bad mouth breath. You can also dry it and use it in your soups; it helps comfort your stomach especially in winter. You can also boil dried orange peels with a slice of ginger in the water to make a cough drink; it can treat a cough caused by a cold better than the medicine.

5. Banana Skins

banana-skinBanana peels can be used to smooth and heal the cracks in hands and feet. All you need is to scrape the cracks on your hand against the inner lining of the banana skin. Boiled banana peels can be used to treat eczema. It can reduce the itchiness when you use them to scrape the infected skin area.

If you want to learn more about how to get rid of eczema naturally, read Never Suffer from Eczema Again.

6. Skins of Sweet Potatoes

sweet-potato-leave-dishThe skins of sweet potatoes contain a wide range of nutrients, including fiber, beta-carotene, vitamin C and E, folate, iron, and potassium. In order to get the most out of the sweet potatoes, you should eat the skin as well. All you need is a bit of extra work to clean the skin first. Here is another secret; the skin actually can aid digestion when you eat sweet potatoes with skins.

The leaves of sweet potatoes also have numerous health benefits. You can cook them as vegetables or add them to your soups. They help detoxify your body and improve your vision. The leaves of sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin A, C, E, and iron. They are also rich in potassium, thus helping reduce high blood pressure. Here is another secret that you may not know about these delicious leaves, they are rich in flavonoids that can promote lactation for women post-pregnancy. The phenol chemicals in the leaves of sweet potatoes also make them an appealing anti-cancer food.

Last but not least, they are rich in fiber and low in calories, which is ideal for weight loss and also prevent constipation.

7. Potato Skins

Potato skinPotato skins contain B vitamins, vitamin C, iron, calcium, potassium, and a good source of fiber. An ounce of potato skin delivers more than five times as much fiber as an ounce of fresh potato, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database. In order to enjoy the potato skins, you should wash the potato skins well and remove any obvious blemishes before cooking. You can incorporate potato skins into your diet by roasting or baking whole potatoes. To make them more nutritious and tasty, serve them with fresh herbs and olive oil. You can also shred fresh potatoes into thin slices and stir fry them to make a delicious vegetable dish. There are many ways to enjoy this nutritious root vegetable.

Ginger is another food that you should keep the skin.

Now, you may come to realize that there are treasures in the skins of many foods. Mother Nature has great wisdom to provide us with nutritious food that each part can benefit our health in some ways. Some amazing health benefits of different parts of food still wait for us to explore. Would you agree?

What are your tips in terms of turning waste into treasures? Please share with us.

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About the author: Lucy Liu
Lucy Liu

As a Holistic Health Practitioner, Registered Dietitian, TCM Practitioner, Energy Healer, Master Hypnotist, Reiki Master, Advanced Theta Healing Practitioner, Author and Speaker, Lucy Liu, the founder of optimalhealthsolutions.ca, has gained a good reputation in holistic health after many years of serving patients and clients as a holistic health practitioner. Lucy has developed a unique and comprehensive approach, which combines Western Medicine, Chinese Medicine, Energy Medicine, and Alternative Medicine together, to help others achieve optimal health by creating harmony between the body, mind, and spirit, and maintain long-term success for healthy lifestyle changes.
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